Past Event

Atmospheric Evolution in Extrasolar Planets: From Jupiters to Earths

February 28, 2024
4:05 PM - 5:05 PM
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Pupin 1402

Colloquium by Shreyas Vissapragada, Harvard

Atmospheric escape has driven the long-term evolution of most known planetary atmospheres, including terrestrial planet atmospheres in our Solar System. In this talk, I will discuss the wealth of information we can learn from studying atmospheric escape in extrasolar planets. I will first discuss new frontiers in the characterization of hot Jupiter outflows: their three-dimensional morphologies are a remarkable new probe of star-planet interactions, and they also offer an unanticipated way to study planetary isotopic compositions. Next, I will introduce the idea that the hottest Neptune-sized planets are “hot Jupiters gone wrong:” multiple lines of evidence suggest that these are the exposed high-metallicity cores of gas giants that suffered catastrophic atmospheric loss. Finally, I will discuss my efforts to extend atmospheric escape observations to Earth-sized exoplanets. Using observations from space telescopes and future ground-based facilities, we will soon be able to contextualize the divergent evolutionary pathways of terrestrial planets in our own system.

Followed by wine and cheese.

Host: David Kipping